Over the last 20 years of clinical practice, I’ve seen awareness of naturopathic medicine blossom and the scope of our practice expand along with it. On reflection, the reasons people seek out naturopathic care today are no different than almost 20 years ago. In my experience, these are the top 10 reasons people seek naturopathic care (in no particular order):
1They’ve reached an impasse in conventional medicine. Tests are ‘normal’, but they don’t feel normal. They may not have disease but they’re experiencing dysfunction and they need help deciphering it and thinking outside the box.
2They’ve been diagnosed with a condition for which they’re looking for a more holistic perspective on cause and a treatment plan beyond prescription medication. High blood pressure, high cholesterol, insomnia, allergies, autoimmune disease, women’s health, depression and anxiety are among the most common conditions people seek help with.
3They have a team of specialists, each focusing on a part of the whole, but no one looking at the whole – body, mind and spirit.
4They’re experiencing pesky problems which are affecting their quality of life and ‘live with it’ isn’t good enough. Weight gain, irritable bowel syndrome, PMS, chronic headaches, sleep problems, menopausal symptoms, fatigue are among the most common examples.
5They’re inspired by a friend, family member, colleague who comes here and they’re ready for their own program!
6They’re healthy and active, and looking to stay that way! We have conversations about the conflicting information they’re reading online. They’re wondering what supplements to take for their age and stage of live, or if they need them at all? They may be looking to lose weight or do whatever is in their control to prevent diseases that run in their family. We meet annually to review their health, their supplements, monitor their labwork and work proactively.
7They’re suffering from an acute illness – sore throat, cough, cold, urinary tract infection and are looking for a speedier recovery, fewer rounds of antibiotics and a prevention plan moving forward.
8They want to come off a specific medication (for various reasons) and want to know if there are other options to manage their condition without medication, or with less medication.
9They’re looking for bioidentical hormone replacement and prescription natural thyroid hormone treatment. These are not easily accessed through their MD and the compounded creams are customized based on hormone testing and symptoms.
10They want specialized testing done, whether it’s food intolerance testing, detailed hormone testing, detailed Lyme disease testing (done via US labs), comprehensive nutrient testing or testing for adrenal fatigue. These tests are not easily accessed though their MD and are not covered by OHIP.
The bottom line, the clients I see want guidance in how to help themselves and their families through lifestyle, dietary and non-invasive, natural means. Some are looking for information and options; others are looking for a few specific interventions for a ‘course correction’ and others are looking for a comprehensive program to address a list of short term and long term health goals. In any scenario, we’re here to help!